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September 16, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-16

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T D gMonday, September 16, 2013 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'Tales of Xillia' makes
stateside debut

Dumbledore doesn't look a day over 90.
Rowl ing returns to
wZ 1 ngord

Daily Arts Writer
Being the 13th game in the
expansive "Tales" series, "Xillia"
had alot to live up to: The series
is regarded
as the third B
most impor-
tant world- Tales of
wide, with sales Xillia
exceeding 15
million units. Namco Bandai
Shattering pre-
order records
for the series and receiving criti-
cal acclaimfollowingits Japanese
release in September 2011, "Xil-
lia" appeared to have lived up to
the hype. Almost two years later,
the first copies of "Tales of Xil-
lia" meant for a North American
audience hit shelves nationwide.
As the game starts up, a Jap-
anese pop-rock song sweeps
through your speakers, with art-
ist Ayumi Hamasaki's voice pre-
ceded and supported by soaring
strings. An intro straight out of
an anime, the camera pans over
cute, drawn renditions of the
Four options, ranging from
"toddler-friendly" to "repetitive-
motion-injury inducing" present
themselves to the player. You're
presented the option of incarnat-
ing one of two protagonists: Jude
Mathis, a promising medical
student, or Milla Maxwell, the
physical incarnation of the Lord
of Spirits. The former is a nerdy
brawler with an awesome habit
of punching people out, the latter
is an elemental spirit-summoning
deity of sorts with hair that defies
conventions like gravity and
In Rieze Maxia, the isolated
land where "Xillia" takes place,
two nations - Rashugal and Auj
Oule - enjoy an unstable peace.
Jude, spurred by the disappear-
ance of his professor, stumbles
upon Milla trying to enter the
very military research facility
Jude was headed toward. With-
in, they find Spyrix technology:
Advanced and dangerous weap-
onry with the potential to destroy
the world as they know it.
As the story unfolds, the pair
encounters a diverse cast of
friends and foes - stalkers, mer-
cenaries, kings bent on world
domination - in the ultimate
goal of maintaining stability

New spinoff film to
feature fresh
cast of characters
Daily Arts Writer
I heard the news in three
parts. Part One: J.K. Rowling
was going to be writing a screen-
play for Warner Brothers. My
excitement level was fairly low,
as I hadn't been all that thrilled
with Rowling's work since
"Harry Potter."
Part Two: The screenplay was
just the first in a series she would
be writing for the film studio.
My excitement level increased a
bit as I thought of all the possi-
bilities for the films.
Part Three: The series of
movies would neither be sequels
nor prequels to the "Harry Pot-
ter" stories, but would still take
place in the magical world she
had created. The first film of the
series will focus on Newt Sca-
mander, the author of Hogwarts
textbook "Fantastic Beasts and
Where to Find Them."
At this point, the HP fan-girl
inside of me was having a disco
party intermixed with minor
bouts of cardiac arrest. The day
I had been waiting for since the
last HP movie premiered was
imminent and I had never been
Once I had calmed myself a
bit and my head no longer felt
bogged down by a confundus

charm, I began to think over
the news. Was I ready to re-
enter this magical world? I had
started reading the HP books in
the second grade and, for almost
12 years, they had been a place
where I could escape and dream
and imagine. It had taken me a
while to accept the fact that the
series was done, to accept the
fact that my childhood was over.
Would I be able to go on this
crazy broomstick ride again?
The answer is yes. Always.
But while I may be ready to dive
back into the wizarding world,
some are concerned Rowling
is only using these screenplays
to return to her HP days of
glory, especially after her first
non-magic related novel was
considered such a huge disap-
pointment. My answer to such
allegations: perhaps. But does it
really matter?
When HP ended, the world
over screamed, cried and begged
for more stories. A sequel about
the Trio's children or a prequel
about the Marauders' time at
Hogwarts - the fans were will-
ing to take anything so long as
the magic didn't end. But Row-
ling said no. She said she had
plenty of stories she could write,
plenty of background and histo-
ry on all the characters that the
fans never knew (some of which
has been slowly released in the
last couple years on Rowling's
Pottermore site, which offers
tons of new, exclusive informa-
tion), but she wanted to stop.
Now she's back and people are

Is video-game snow good packing snow?

questioning her motives? They
need to sort out their priorities.
I, for one, completely trust
Rowling and her decisions. She
never once, throughout the
whole HP series, disappointed
me (though she did try her best
to make me sob with each char-
acter she killed off - some of
whom I still refuse to believe
are actually dead and not simply
kicking ass in an intense game
of hide-and-seek).
The world she created was
so extensive that there are
hundreds of opportunities for
new stories that can be com-
pletely unrelated to Harry Pot-
ter and his friends, but which
are equally as enchanting and
enthralling. As a writer, I do
not believe that Rowling would
ever try to disrupt the canon or
exploit her original creation.
She is simply branching out
from the very sturdy trunk she's
already grown.
As for the movie, I hope that a
couple familiar faces pop up. At
least Dumbledore, who seemed
practically 1,000 years old when
he died (actually, he was 114, in
case you were wondering), could
make a brief appearance.
As for what else I want in the
movie, well, I really couldn't
care less because I'm just happy
the world that I love so much is
coming back. But I guess we all
should have seen this coming,
as the things we lose have a way
of "coming back to us" in the
end, if not always in the way we

they cc
you jot
plot po
with t
sacks o
and be
into co
catch tl
ing the
of the fi

n the inhabitants of Rieze Combat is simple enough that
and the spirits with which one can get away with not learn-
oexist (and in many ways ing any of the intricacies on any
i on). Gameplay is split of the lower difficulties. How-
n various optional side ever, the rewards for properly
ns, including social rela- utilizing the various resources
p-based character devel- (which correspond to the amount
t, and exploring areas as of abilities the character is able to
urney from plot point to use) and synergies between char-
int. acters are enormous. For tougher
fights, using chains of abilities
between characters make short
adcinematic work of otherwise
ted graphics impossible enemies.
stract from Players gain experience
through combat and gain new
1 labilities and stats through a spi-
lt p J* derweb-like system they place
points into with every level-up.
There's more than enough to dis-
s outside of villages are tract and satisfy the most meticu-
ted by monsters and rife lous completionist, with in-game
reasures. Glints of ore, titles and trophies rewarding the
f loot and chests are well devoted.
reach of players with a Unfortunately, "Xillia" is a
1 eye. Battles are instanced little graphically dated, even for
gin after characters come a 2011 game. The in-game com-
:ntact with enemies, with bat dialogue can be an earsore
like whether or not the and the voice acting occasionally
character manages to leaves something to be desired.
he enemy off-guard, affect- Though this doesn't detract from
beginning circumstances the depth and complexity of the
ight. As a bonus, the flashy, gameplay and its plot, it does
-mashing 10-second fights make the experience less enjoy-
the energetic guitar riff- able aesthetically.
battle music that makes In Nov. 2012, "Tales of Xillia
of Xillia" fit right in with 2" was released in Japan, and is
of the past. expected stateside in 2014.

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